Disruptive Technologies, Transforming the Business

Disruptive Technologies, Transforming the Business

You might wonder what some of the great and good of Fitness First, Coca-Cola, The Scout Association, Cancer Research and numerous other organisations, have in common and what had them gather at Celtic Manor today; the golf course famous for major events such as the Ryder Cup.  It was not, if it was your first thought, a charity golf tournament.

Fifty plus CIO’s from the high street, charities, media, public service, technology industry, financial services and manufacturing represented a number of industry sectors, gathered to have a conversation about digital transformation and disruption in their businesses.  If the range of businesses were surprisingly diverse, the challenges and problems were not.

All leaders, to paraphrase an opening speaker, are “struggling with digital strategies and changing business models”. If there was disagreement over whether Uber constituted a disruptive technology or just a differentiated app with a different pricing model, there was agreement that the advance of consumer technology is fundamentally changing the way all sectors relate to the people or businesses they serve. 

The day’s debate ranged from how to mobilise and motivate IT and digital teams to respond to the changing relationship with users, to how you get them to work together and leverage the skills of both - the ‘Baby Boomers’ meet the ‘Millennials’.  Bringing them together is absolutely vital in any business, but it needs the organisation’s leadership to drive the vision and benefits, creating a common purpose.  I have been there …..

Agility vs process was at the heart of the discussion, but the overriding message was that the approach had to be relevant to the business and the organisation and the result had to be fit for purpose. 

If there was a consistent message to the day it was that even if you think, you have cracked your relationship with your end user, someone else will come along with something that will disrupt your view of how you serve them.  Change is going to be an ever-present theme in all that we do, so you have to be prepared to adapt and change quickly.  Your systems and business architecture and the way you manage or procure services need to be able to adapt and evolve to the changing consumer landscape.  Competitive or service advantage, will come from challenging the current orthodoxy or paradigm that drives our current thinking.

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Last modified on 24 March 2016
Mike Cronk

Mike Cronk is a media technology leader with track record in business change and programme delivery.